An Irish Prayer

I learned this from Charles, my friend and Irish speaker:Go raibh mé cróga mar tharbh. Go raibh mé caoin mar uain. Go raibh mé eagnaí mar bradán.Beannacht ar mo mhuintir. Beannacht ar mo chairde. Beannacht ar mo chuid oibre.May I be as brave as a bull. May I be as gentle as a lamb. May I be as wise as a salmon.Blessing upon my kindred. Blessing upon my friends. Blessing upon my portion of work. … [Read more...]

Eleanor Roosevelt on Inferiority

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." —Eleanor Roosevelt … [Read more...]

Pope John Paul II on Love

"Love converts hearts and gives peace." — Pope John Paul II's final message to the church … [Read more...]

Flannery O’Connor on Dogma

"Dogma can in no way limit a limitless God. The person outside the Church attaches a different meaning to it than the person in. For me a dogma is only a gateway to contemplation and is an instrument of freedom and not of restriction. It preserves mystery for the human mind. Henry James said the young woman of the future would know nothing of mystery and manners. He had no business to limit it to one sex." —Flannery O'Connor, "Faith and Mystery" from Spiritual Writings … [Read more...]

The Trappists

Twice in the last six months I've visited Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, a Trappist Monastery in Conyers, not far from where I live near Atlanta. I had only been there two or three times previously, in all the years that I've lived here; never mind all my interest in contemplative spirituality and mysticism. Here is one of the most dedicated living traditions of Western mysticism, a tradition with a documented lineage of over 900 years, and I've basically just ignored it. To my own loss, to be … [Read more...]

Good Omens

While I was in London, my friends Gwen and Rob gave me a gift — a copy of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. At some point in our rambling conversation the book had come up, and I confessed that I had never read it. Rob wanted to make sure that this horrendous gap in my cultural literacy was repaired, and quickly.How glad I am that he cared! I devoured the book on my plane ride home, making it easily the most enjoyable transatlantic flight of my life thus far. I post this as a wa … [Read more...]

Clement of Alexandria

Yesterday (December 5) was, in the Episcopal Church Calendar, the feast of Clement of Alexandria. Clement was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar in the late sixteenth century, but the Anglicans have given him no such demotion. Regardless of whether Clement deserves to be seen as a saint or not, he has been acknowledged as one of the earliest of Christian mystics.Born in the middle of the second century, Clement lived some 170 years after Philo; that not-quite-two-centuries was a … [Read more...]